Sunday, January 8, 2012

Zelda : Ocarina of Time

 STATUS : [COMPLETED] (??? Times)
RATING : [5/5]

Just played through this again on the N64 in an 'Ocarina of Time Race' vs a friend of mine. I won at 13 hours, though she put up a pretty great fight. =)

Ocarina is the first game that REALLY kick-started my love for videogames. I remember sitting on a friend's couch, watching her brother battle Queen Ghoma, and being scared and enthralled all at once. It was delightful. I'd dabbled in some games before that point, but OOT is the first time I distinctly remember thinking that videogames were going to be a significant part of my life.

The art is delightful, and even after all these years, it's aged gracefully. There are many old games that continuously bludgeon you with the broad side of their 'out of date graphics' stick.  They are the crazy cougars in leopard print tube tops and shiny tights to OOT's adorable and tastefully dressed grandmother who always feeds you cookies whenever you're around.

The charter design has always delighted me. I've heard many say that the Zelda series doesn't much get off on originality. They'd rather pick up an old character, dust it off, give it a different coat, and shove it in the new game as a new character instead of creating a new one.  They might be right, but regardless, I've always enjoyed every character in Ocarina of Time. From the overweight entrepreneur who really understands supply and demand: selling you his snacks for progressively disturbing amounts; to the bickering twins who are whatever age suits them best, and don't stop their squabbling for something as trivial as death. From the musically adventurous and conveniently helpful scarecrow family, to the over-sized Dodongo who wanted nothing more than to spend his life rolling around like a ball, but was dubbed 'King' because of his size and now has to deal with stupid kids invading his space... well, some of their stories are implied. Point being, there are plenty of rich characters running around the game.

The game design is delightful. Simple but elegant fighting engine. Simple but elegant puzzles. Levels are really well designed, with wonderful level progression (except for that stupid Shadow Temple that just HAD to have that stupid ship, making you walk a LONG way if you have to leave near the end to 'fairy up'... Yeah I get it, its awesome, but its a bitch of a walk) and puzzles just difficult enough to make it interesting.

The story is classic and worth experiencing. Very simple, straightforward, and still good to experience. A lot of games in this generation are centered around interactive storytelling. You make the choices and evolve the story. I'm a big fan of it, but at the same time there will always be a special place in my heart for linear games that read like a book. I know I'm not Link, I'm just experiencing Link's story. And I like his story.

I feel like I have so many things I'd like to say about it, but I'm going to stop there because I would really rather go play videogames than be writing right now.

[TLDR] Its a classic. Just play the damn game already.


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